June 27, 2010
Fatal Four Way 2010, June 20, 2010, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, & Matt Striker
Iím going to try a new format here with the idea being to focus less on detailed play by play and more on just hitting the highlights and analysis. It should make for an easier read if nothing else.
Mr. McMahon opens the show by announcing that Bret Hart will not be here for his scheduled confrontation with the NXT crew due to the demolition derby from last Monday. Ití didnít come across like this at the time, but this appears to already be the end of the line for Bret as the Raw GM, and Iím fine with that because I donít think thatís the role for him anyways. Drew McIntyre is then introduced and has a friendly handshake and brief conversation with McMahon on the way to the ring for his match.
Opening Match, Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre
The Setup: Teddy Long had been ordered to compete against McIntyre on Smackdown, so after intimidating Long into allowing himself to be pinned, McIntyre was going to give him the Future Shock anyways. Kofi tried making the save, but was cut off by McIntyreís V1 protection force and ended up taking a beating.
The Action: McIntyre says McMahon told him to tell Teddy Long to come ringside, which he does to a helpfully waiting chair. Kofi controls early with the big highlight being a suicide dive. McIntyre bails and then clips Kofi when he follows to take over. He then sends Kofi to the post and spends the next few minutes working the arm. Kofi starts the comeback, but McIntyre avoids Trouble in Paradise. Kofi then counters the Future Shock with a springboard tornado DDT for 2. SOS also gets 2 and then the ref gets bumped. Drew hits the Future Shock and with the ref out he demands that Teddy make the count. He even makes him put on the ref shirt because I guess itís wouldnít be legit otherwise. Teddy holds up the count at 2 and then when Drew gets in his face Matt Hardy runs out and hits the Twist of Fate. Kofi follows with the TIP and that gets the 3 count to retain at 16:29.
The Verdict: Pretty decent opener, although I hated the part where Kofi had to lay there forever while McIntyre got Teddy in the ring. And to make things worse, he doesnít even get to kick out after laying there forever. Plus it took outside interference for him to win so he doesnít even come out looking that good. That stuff knocks down what had actually been good up to that point. **1/4
Divas Championship Match: Eve Torres vs. Gail Kim vs. Maryse vs. Alicia Fox
The Setup: Gotta have at least one womenís match per show and they went with this one.
The Action: They start off brawling until Alicia gets Gail with a nice fishermanís suplex and that kicks off the sequence of everyone going for pins while the others break them up to establish the rules, which by the way are first fall wins and you win the Title regardless of who you beat. They then start working in a variety of armbars. The wrestling crowd just wonít see them as anything more than the restholds theyíve always been until people start submitting to them. Of course Eveís camel clutch gets a reaction though. Gail hits a top rope dropkick which allows Striker to enthusiastically work in a Jumping Bomb Angel reference that gets him mocked by the other announcers. The finish sees Eve hit Maryse with a neckbreaker and moonsault only to have Alicia take her out and steal the pin to become new Divas Champion at 5:42.
The Verdict: By the usual Divas standards, this was just fine. Alicia has shown promise from what Iíve seen of her so sheís not a terrible choice to be champion, but at the same time I think itís too quick to be cutting Eve off. *
Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne
The Setup: Bourne got a DQ win over Jericho on Raw when Jericho lost it after Bourne kicked out of the Codebreaker, so we get the unannounced rematch here.
The Action: Jericho cuts a pre-match promo proclaiming himself top dog and promising to put Bourne in his place, but Bourne isnít intimidated. Jericho controls early until missing a charge in the corner and going to the floor where Bourne dive on him off the top. Back in, Jericho gets back in control with Bourne getting in occasional spurts of offence. Finally he tries one to many things and gets hooked in the Walls. He struggles and ends up making the ropes, much to Jerichoís chagrin. Bourne gets to show off some more high flying stuff now until landing on his feet when Jericho avoids Air Bourne and eating a Codebreaker. He makes the ropes at 2 though which has Jericho pissed off again. The Walls are countered to a DDT, and then after a few teases, Bourne hits Air Bourne for the clean pin at 12:04.
The Verdict: Great match here with Jericho putting over the up and comer big time. Of course Jericho does lose quite a bit so I donít know how big it is to get a win over him, but they certainly played it up like a big deal. Until the next night on Raw where Jericho got the win back, so we may just be looking at another one of those start and stop pushes that they love to do. ****
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Jack Swagger vs. Big Show vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
The Setup: A series of qualifying matches were held to determine the three challengers, one of whom was originally Undertaker, but he was legit hurt by Rey Mysterio in their match. This is covered up in storyline by saying that Kane found him in a ďvegetative stateĒ, and now heís coming for revenge against whoever was responsible. He believes that it was someone involved in this match, and the pre match video makes that the only issue while the fact that the World Heavyweight Championship is on the line is secondary. And to think that they scratch their heads wondering why people donít care about the Titles anymore.
The Action: Show uses his size to dominate the match early on until the other three finally gang up on him. There were lots of covers and of course in the usual multiway match deal we saw others break them up almost every time to emphasize the one fall nature of the match. Show finally got double teamed to the floor by Punk and Rey so we got a period of them switching off with Swagger for one on one action while the other laid down selling. Rey goes for the 619 on Punk, but Show, after about 5:00 of being dead, rises and catches him from the floor, and then drops him on the table. He dominates the ring again, but more quickly this time the others resort to the triple team strategy to neutralize him. Punk hits Swagger with the GTS, but here comes the advertised Kane run it, wheeling a casket to ringside. Why he picked this exact moment, I donít know. He arbitrarily selects Punk as his victim and chokeslams him into the casket, but Luke Gallows makes the save and gets Punk out of there. Meanwhile, Rey hits the 619 on Swagger, followed by the springboard splash and that gets the 3 count to win the Title at 10:28.
The Verdict: A good match here, although if youíre not going to do anything with Swagger and then just abruptly cut him off like this, then what was the point of making him champion in the first place? Apparently this is Reyís reward for delaying his vacation after putting Undertaker on the shelf, which is as good a reason as any to put the belt on someone in 2010. But is does make obvious the complete lack of direction that they have. ***
United States Championship Match: The Miz vs. R-Truth
The Setup: The Miz regained the US Title from Truth last Monday on Raw in a four way that also included John Morrison and Zack Ryder, so Truth gets the rematch here tonight.
The Action: Truth runs over him at first with a series of shoulderblocks, and then they go back and forth for a bit. Miz takes control by sending Truth to the post and then goes to work on the midsection. Itís sound, but not very exciting. Truth blocks a superplex and then hits a missile dropkick to start the comeback, but gets no heat in doing it. Flatliner gets 2 as does a neat looking suplex into a Stunner. Miz drops him on the ropes to take over again and hits the Mizard of Oz for 2. The finish has Truth going for some quick pinfalls with a small package, and then a rollup, but when he goes for another, Miz drops down and hooks him for the 3 count to retain at 13:22.
The Verdict: This was the weakest non womenís match of the night which suffered from a lack of heat, mainly due to the fact that they just didnít do much in the body of the match because they did get reactions early on. I do like Miz and think he deserves a shot at moving up, but the problem is I canít see them being serious about that so it probably wouldnít work. *1/2
Mixed Tag Team Match: The Hart Dynasty & Natalya vs. The Usos & Tamina
The Setup: The Usos debuted a few weeks ago by jumping the Harts to make a name for themselves leading up to a grudge match here tonight.
The Action: The girls start with Natalya mostly in control until Tamina tags out to get away. Now the guys go with Smith controlling for a bit. Kidd then gets tagged in and cornered. The heat really gets going when Kidd misses something off the apron on Jimmy and gets Samoan dropped into the barrier. The Usos work him over with basic stuff, which kind of like the previous match was fine but not terribly exciting. Finally Kidd breaks through and makes the hot tag to Natalya. This gets Tamina back in and Natalya runs wild on her hitting two suplexes and a sitdown slam for 2. The guys get involved, but Smith clears the Usos out and then Kidd hits them with a springboard plancha. Meanwhile, Tamina hits a Samoan drop and goes for the Superfly splash. She misses though and then Natalya hits her with a spinning clothesline for the 3 count at 9:28.
The Verdict: A decent match here, but that clean win by the champs (with the Titles not even on the line) should theoretically end the program. I donít know why the Usos didnít win to keep it going. **
Main Event, WWE Championship Match: John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton
The Setup: Like the WHC match, a series of qualifiers determined the challengers. To me a match like this is a perfect opportunity to get some new people in the Championship mix without putting them under the pressure of a one on one main event, but they just went with the usual suspects instead. Also like the WHC match, we have an advertised run in as the NXT crew has promised to be here. Cena cut a promo earlier addressing this saying that the guys in the match have an unspoken agreement to stand together when that happens, but weíll see how well that works out.
The Action: We start off with the usual four way stuff that weíre now seeing for the third time tonight as they pair off for a bit and then two guys get laid out while the other two go in the ring until itís time to switch off. They cut backstage to show Evan Bourne, The Harts, and R-Truth watching the match with the idea being that next monthís MITB PPV could lead to anyone getting a Title shot so theyíre scouting. The match goes on for a bit until the big move sequence kicks off with Orton hitting a double hanging DDT on Cena and Sheamus. Edge keeps missing spears and ends up taking the Five Knuckle Shuffle as a result. Cena then hooks him in the STF, but Sheamus makes the save. Orton hits the RKO on Cena, but Sheamus takes out the ref to stop the count. Sheamus then gets tossed over the announcers table and takes out Michael Cole, so we donít hear him for the rest of the night. Meanwhile, the NXT crew attacks the guys watching backstage before making their way out. They get in the ring and beat down Cena, Edge, and Orton who do their best but are overwhelmed by the numbers. In the melee, Sheamus, obviously not party to the unspoken agreement, covers Cena with the ref dutifully making the 3 count despite the chaos and Sheamus is the new WWE Champion at 17:26.
The Verdict: I really didnít like that ending, although the match was acceptable up to that point. Sure it continues the storyline, but to do a cheap Title change off of it is just stupid. If you want to put the Tile on Sheamus, just have him win the damn thing because he has no credibility as champion with a win like that. As we saw on TV this week the NXT guys are hired so the hit and run stuff is over and weíre going to get actual matches now, which may be a tough sell and tough to watch, but weíll see what they do with it. **1/2
Overall Thoughts: As is becoming the usual for WWE PPVís of late we have a good show from an in ring perspective (WWE rarely puts on a bad PPV strictly from that POV), but one where the direction for the future is not clear other than that NXT will continue feuding with John Cena, and that means thereís not much to get excited about. I generally enjoy watching these PPVís, but I just wish they could come up with more to get me excited about and make me look forward to them. Thumbs in the Middle for Fatal Four way because itís a fine show, with one great highlight in Jericho/Bourne, but by the end I just feel like I saw nothing special.